MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Esmery Martinez scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and No. 19 West Virginia overcame a 38-point performance by Lauren Heard and held on to defeat TCU 81-78 on Saturday.
Heard, whose previous career high was 34 when West Virginia won the first meeting 79-70, kept the Horned Frogs in the game but after Kirsten Deans made 1 of 2 free throws with 11 seconds left, TCU couldn’t get off a potential tying shot.
Deans scored 15 points and Kysre Gondrezick, who had 30 in the last meeting, added 14 for the Mountaineers (17-3, 11-3 Big 12 Conference), who were coming off a loss to Oklahoma that ended their 11-game winning streak.
Heard was 12 of 20 from the field, making 4 of 5 from 3-point range, and 10 of 15 from the foul line to push her career total for points to 1,448, tied for eighth on the TCU career list. She also had nine rebounds and five assists.
Tavy Diggs added 13 points for the Horned Frogs (8-11, 3-11) and Michelle Berry 10.
Gondrezick hit a 3-pointer to start a 13-0 run to end the first quarter that put the Mountaineers on top 24-19. Heard made a layup in the middle of the second quarter to give TCU its last lead at 28-27. Gondrezick scored the last five in a 9-0 burst but Heard scored 7 of 8 in a run for a tie at 36. But that was the last tie as West Virginia went up 42-38 at the half.
The lead reached 13 in the middle of the third quarter but Berry hit her two 3s in the opening 93 seconds of the fourth quarter and the game stayed tight the rest of the way.
West Virginia plays at Iowa State on Wednesday when Oklahoma visits TCU.